HP LaserJet M452DW Review | My New White Ink Invitation Printer

HP LaserJet M452DW Review | My New White Ink Invitation Printer

Are you jumping with excitement? I basically can’t stop staring at my new baby - the HP LaserJet M452DW ! It’s my first ever LASER printer, and is already WOW-ing me on the daily (as well as confusing me on the hourly). I have promised y’all some more information, and you know I love to share about new tools for stationery designers, so buckle up, there’s a lot of info coming at ya!

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When to Mail Wedding Invitations

When to Mail Wedding Invitations

There’s a lot of information out there about when you should mail your wedding invitations, Save the Dates, rehearsal dinner invites, etc. so we’re here to set everything straight. As we always say, we’ll give you “rules” but things are always up to you and your specific situation. There’s only one rule you shouldn’t break - don’t do anything only because you’re “supposed to” or your mom tells you to. Do it because it makes sense for you and your fiancé and with your personal situation!

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Wedding Day Stationery Dos and Don'ts

Wedding Day Stationery Dos and Don'ts

Ever been to a wedding and not been able to figure out where to go? Not been able to read the menu? Waited a liiiittle too long on the bride to get down the aisle? These are all problems that your wedding day stationery can actually help solve - if you know how to use it the right way. I’m obviously a little biased, but there are some practical ways to use the stationery so that it’s not only beautiful, but also functional. And with everything - there are some definite no-nos you’ll want to avoid.

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Lauren & Mike

Lauren & Mike

Honestly, just some dusty blue, burgundy, and vintage car wedding goodness with a dream team of vendors (all listed at the bottom!). This wedding featured some lovely details and some of our favorite dusty blue menus ever. Plus, if either of you are a car fanatic - you’ll want to get a look at this vintage beauty.

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How to Create Regular Content for Your Creative Business

How to Create Regular Content for Your Creative Business

How do you create so much content? This is a popular question lately, as we’ve got our Instagram, Facebook, Resources, YouTube Channel, Email Lists, Pinterest, Stories, Website, Skillshare classes, and of course this blog, with new posts every Monday. You’re right - it’s a LOT, and sometimes I get overwhelmed thinking about it. But of course I’ve got a few tips for you today on how to go about creating and scheduling your content!

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Working from Home Like a Boss

Working from Home Like a Boss

Hey hi hello, boss ladies and boss gents! I’ve been working from home for 7 years (WHAT) and there are a lot of pros and cons, but the main difference between working in an office and working at home is that you have complete control over your entiiiire life. This is where some of us thrive, but it’s also where some of us crash and burn, so as always, be honest with yourself about what is and is not working to propel you toward your goals. Luckily, we’ve got 9 tips and tricks to help you work from home like a total boss.

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When (and How) to Give Discounts

When (and How) to Give Discounts

Today, we’re going to help you answer the dreaded question that you probably get way too often - Can I get a discount?! Whether they’re looking for friends and family, military, or you know, those really nice “we spent too much on our venue but we reeeeally love your work” discounts, we’ll help you fight back that automatic *eyeroll* response and answer professionally and logically, without getting emotional!

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9 Things NOT to do When Starting a Business

We alllll make mistakes when we’re starting out on the entrepreneur journey. If you didn’t make any yet, then you’re probably not taking enough risks - mistakes are just part of the deal, and believe me, I tested and tried out a whole lot of them, just for funsies! Some mistakes are learning experiences, but there are a few mistakes that will cost you dearly down the line, so to save you from making those, I’ve compiled 9 things you should definitely NOT do when you start your business.

  1. Be Shady

    This applies at the beginning, but also always. Don’t do shady things like lying to your customers, buying Instagram followers, or basically anything else that you may feel uncomfortable telling your grandma you did!

  2. Look for Loopholes or Shortcuts

    In the same vein, try not to avoid things you don’t want to do, even if you feel like you’re getting away with it. Working in cash so you don’t have to report it on your taxes, accepting payments via PayPal Friends + Family to avoid credit card processing fees, and other loopholes like this can come back to bite you in the butt. Accept that things cost money and take time, and do what you can to be above board all the time. This sometimes means taking the harder path, yes - welcome to small business ownership.

  3. Focus Only on Social Media

    Speaking of Instagram, a lot of new businesses focus on social media growth only. Remember that your social media following isn’t actually yours - Mark Z. could take that away from you tomorrow, and then where would your business be? Grow your business in multiple ways, use different marketing channels, and include social media as only part of a larger strategy.

  4. Say “Yes” to Every Job

    You think all business is good business, but I’m here to tell you that isn’t true! Everyone takes a few crappy jobs while they’re figuring things out, but every job you say yes to means you’re saying no to something else. Take jobs that bring you closer to at least one of your goals - even if that goal is just to put food on the table this month.

  5. Work Only for Clients

    I have a lot of new business ladies ask me how to create new work when their paying clients aren’t quite “ideal” yet. The answer is simple - just make it! Someone doesn’t have to be paying you for you to create beautiful work. The more you put out there of your “ideal” work, the more people will ask you to create work like that.

  6. Make Up Pricing

    It’s simple - you should always have a solid reason behind your pricing. None of this “it’s what so and so charges” or “I asked a facebook group” - if you don’t know why you’re charging what you’re charging, then you likely aren’t covering the costs that you need to. You may decide to charge less if you’re just starting out - I’m not a fan of this method, actually - but either way, at least have that solid reasoning and understand what area you’re cutting that cost from (hint: it should be your hourly rate, not any material costs). Check out our YouTube video on 2 Common Pricing Strategies for Creatives!

  7. Copy Other People

    Well, this should be looped into being shady, but it happens a lot so I made it its own point. Clients often send me other artists’ work as examples, but as much as humanly possible, I try to avoid copying another creative’s work. Not only because it’s illegal, but also because I can’t make something as well as the original person did, so it’s always always always going to turn out worse than something I make on my own.

  8. Provide too Many Options

    I used to ask clients what they wanted from me wayyyy too much, and it’s not a smart move. First of all, it’s confusing. The client is hiring you because they don’t know what they want. They don’t know what’s possible, and they don’t know what’s going to turn out best. So asking them for opinions ends up with weird, out of sync expectations on both sides. Provide 1-3 simple options for them, and they (and you) will be much happier.

  9. Let Clients Have All the Say

    And lastly, you should not let clients have all the say. It seems counterintuitive, but clients feel like they get a much better experience when you set boundaries with them from the beginning. That way they know what to expect, and they’re taking advantage of the unique skills you have to bring to their project - not trying to dictate the relationship.


So let me know what you think of these 9 Things you shouldn’t do when starting your business - I can’t wait to hear some of the mistakes you’ve made in the comments below, and I’ll be happy to provide some guidance and feedback. If you’re just starting out, of course we have some business resources for you - especially our First 30 Days Workbook which takes you through building a foundation for a long-lasting, goal-oriented business including topics like taxes, contracts, branding, and handling mistakes.


Winter Ice Castles Shoot

Winter Ice Castles Shoot

It’s the middle of summer, so what better time than to remember a cool, blue, ice-filled wedding inspiration shoot? Kalli from Kallidoscope Photography reached out to me via a Facebook group, and I had no idea I was about to connect with one of my favorite people in the industry! She mentioned that she was planning a styled shoot at the Ice Castles in Wisconsin, and I couldn’t resist being a part of it.

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Why I Don't Print In-House

Why I Don't Print In-House

People are ALWAYS asking me what printer I use - I know that if I post anything about printing, I’ll get about 45 messages with questions about it. The truth is, like with a lot of things we talk about, the tool isn’t the key to doing this right. Knowing which printer I use (it’s this one, by the way!) isn’t going to make you create good stationery. It’s not that it’s not a good printer - it totally is - but it’s that printing is a skill and an art form in itself. I actually try to avoid printing in-house whenever I can, and I’ll tell you why!

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Game of Thrones Wedding Invitation Inspiration

Game of Thrones Wedding Invitation Inspiration

Alright, m’ladies and m’lords, Sers and Maesters, wildlings and Stone Men, let’s all gather round for some fun musings on our favorite Westerosi for tonight’s Game of Thrones series finale! We’ve put together some invitation inspiration for some of our favorite characters on the show, so please let us know which one is your favorite by sharing and commenting below. I promise that Red Weddings only refer to color schemes, and no one will be letting Arya bake any of the cakes…..(too soon?!).

Official Spoiler Alert happening all the way up to Season 8 Episode 4 (the one after the battle of Winterfell) - do not click Read More if you don’t want spoilers!!!

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How to Learn from Your Competition

How to Learn from Your Competition

There are so many upsides to there being more creatives out there, because in general, the creative world is still a little backwards. As artists, we’re often not taken seriously, and our value is only apparent if we’re famous or dead, it seems, so the more successful creative businesses there are, the better we do as a whole. However, there is a downside to welcoming new businesses - and that’s competition.

Competition sounds scary to a lot of people - and I hear this often in my Coaching Sessions. “There’s so much competition,” “They always go with someone cheaper,” “This other photographer keeps stealing my clients”, but the truth is that competition can be so much more than that!

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Tuscan Countryside Wedding Bliss | Zibby + JT

Tuscan Countryside Wedding Bliss | Zibby + JT

Where to even start with this one? I truly feel like part of the family with Zibby + JT, after working with them for over two years now. This was my first invitation suite for an international destination wedding, and it was in Tuscany, which is my home abroad. I lived in Florence for several months and haven’t gotten the olive oil out of my system since, so painting a mini Duomo and Ponte Vecchio for this couple was one of my favorite moments of Design by Laney. More Italian weddings, per favore!

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Why a Seating Chart is Helpful on Your Wedding Day

Why a Seating Chart is Helpful on Your Wedding Day

Seating charts, escort cards, place cards, all the different terminology can get really confusing! Sometimes it feels like you’d be better off just doing an open seating wedding - what can go wrong, right? We’re all family here! Well…in fact, a lot of things can go wrong! The politics of wedding seating have become the typical gag in movies and sitcoms everywhere, but for good reason - those relationships are always complicated. Having a seating chart can help you navigate the icy waters between Aunt Cindy and Cousin John, and well…..it can help you in a lot of other ways too….

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Why I Chose Squarespace for my First Website

Why I Chose Squarespace for my First Website

Creating your first website is one of the most daunting tasks for new business owners, and I was no exception. I had it on my to-do list for months before I even started to work on it. Once I decided to leave my “day job” and take Design by Laney full time, I knew that the website was the first big task to conquer, so I finally got to work! No matter how annoying and difficult the website process can be, the only part I regret is not starting it sooner - so if you’re hesitating for any reason whatsoever, let me be the one to tell you to stop hesitating, and just do it!

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Oceanside Modern Wedding | Desiree + Michael

Oceanside Modern Wedding | Desiree + Michael

Another real wedding to share today, and this one has a special place in my heart! Desiree and Michael just exude kindness and positivity in every single interaction I have with them - both of them would separately wish me well if I posted about being sick on Instagram, for instance (yep, even the groom!!!). You just know two beautiful souls like that are in for a wonderful, happy marriage together! The fact that it also happened to be a Pinterest dream is just an added bonus! All of these phenomenal photos are courtesy of the amazing Jenna Joseph (and you can read more of D + M's love story on her blog). 

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